Torre, 2 other GMs spearhead PH campaign | Inquirer Sports

Torre, 2 other GMs spearhead PH campaign

By: - Editor / @RLuarcaINQ
/ 04:15 AM December 13, 2016

Venerable Grandmaster Eugene Torre, United States-based GM Mark Paragua and four-time Olympian GM Darwin Laylo will reinforce the local challenge in the PSC/Puregold International Chess Challenge starting today at Subic Bay Peninsular Hotel in Olongapo, Zambales.

Torre, board 3 bronze medalist in this year’s Baku (Azerbaijan) Chess Olympiad, skipped the just-concluded Philippine International Chess Championship to focus on the nine-round Swiss event that ends on Sunday.

“It’s a strategy,” said Torre, saying that at 65 years old, he’d be hard-pressed to cope up with back-to-back tournaments that require playing two games on some days.

With an Elo rating of 2495, Torre will be the highest-rated Filipino in the fold, followed by Paragua (2492), who spent the last two years campaigning in the US before returning to the country recently.

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World Cup veteran Laylo (2451), on the other hand, isn’t intimidated by higher-rated foreigners, having ruled the 2011 Chairman Prospero Pichay Cup also held in Subic.

The Filipinos fared poorly in the 2016 PICC won by top seed Wang Hao of China, with GM-elect Haridas Pascua emerging best-placed local at 12th place.

Hao, runner-up International Master Tuan Minh Truan of Vietnam and third placer Lei Tingjie of China, who completed the requirements for a full-fledged GM title, will be seeing action anew, along with fourth placer IM Abhimanyu Puranik of India, No. 5 GM Boris Savchenko of Russia, No. 6 Anton Demchenko of Russia, No. 7 Mikheil Mchedishvili of Georgia, No. 8 GM Merab Gagusnavili of Georgia, No. 9 GM Vladislav Kovalev of Belarus, No. 10 GM Levan Pantsulaia of Georgia and No. 11 Tigran Kotanjan of India.

Also returning for the tournament being supported by the Philippine Sports Commission under Chair Butch Ramirez and Puregold are Filipino IMs Jan Emmanuel Garcia, Emmanuel Senador and Paulo Bersamina and GM Rogelio Antonio.

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Expected to grace the opening ceremony set at 2:30 p.m. are Butch Ramirez , National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president Rep. Butch Pichay, secretary general and Cavite Rep. Bambol Tolentino and lawyer Ruel Canobas, the association vice president.

The first round will be held after the simple rites.

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TAGS: Chess, Eugene Torre

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